We all know the words around electricity -- “charge,” “positive,” “battery” and more. But where do they come from and what do they really mean? Let the history of these words illuminate the physics of electric phenomena.
Here's a journal artical about Physics Education. In it, you can read more details about the historical origins of electrical vocabulary: http://iopscience.iop.org/0031-9120/47/1/78/article
Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment is one of the foundational scientific explorations dealing with electricity. http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/info/kite.htm
Jean-Antoine Nollet popularized science in France. His most famous illustration was an electric shock that passed through 180 of King Louis XV's Royal Guards. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/417286/Abbe-Jean-Antoine-Nollet
Thales of Miletos made a series of observations on static electricity around 600 BC, from which he believed that friction rendered amber magnetic, in contrast to minerals such as magnetite, which needed no rubbing. Thales was incorrect in believing the attraction was due to a magnetic effect, but later science would prove a link between magnetism and electricity. http://www.iep.utm.edu/thales/